Descriptive Longitudinal Analysis of Stereotypy and Corresponding Changes in Psychotropic Medication

Dev Neurorehabil. 2022 Jul;25(5):298-308. doi: 10.1080/17518423.2021.2011461. Epub 2021 Dec 4.


Introduction: Psychotropic medication is often prescribed to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who engage in challenging and other behavior (e.g., aggression and stereotypy, respectively), but there is limited understanding of the effects of these medications on behavior.

Objective: Within the context of a larger study that evaluated the effects of psychotropic medication regimen changes on the presentation of challenging behavior, this study describes the presentation of stereotypic behavior of three individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Methods: Stereotypy was measured during weekly, one-hour, direct observations and during the control and ignore conditions of functional analyses of challenging behavior (which were conducted following changes in psychotropic medication regimens).

Results: Patterns of stereotypy varied over time, but not significantly, and at times seemed to coincide with medication changes.

Discussion: Our results suggest stereotypy persists throughout adulthood; however, additional research is needed.

Keywords: Stereotypy; autism spectrum disorder; psychotropic medication.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aggression
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Stereotyped Behavior
  • Stereotypic Movement Disorder* / drug therapy


  • Psychotropic Drugs